Regular readers of this blog will know that at Designer Helmets we are huge fans of 'The Doctor'. Since his return from Ducati, the Yamaha Factory team rider has not set the world of MotoGP alight, but he has been steadily improving the M1 and results have been steady rather than spectacular.
You'll have to forgive our celebrations.
As it is, the nine-times world champion found a fast late lap to record the fastest time on the Circuit de Catalunya: a track the Italian has won at nine times before.
Rossi's late surge beat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo (Spain), who won the last round in Mugello into second spot, with Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa (Spain) taking third. Alvaro Bautista, also of Spain, rode his Gresini Honda into fourth, while Britain's very own Cal Crutchlow grabbed fifth.
Rookie sensation Marc Marquez (Spain) finished sixth for Repsol Honda.
“I love this track it is one of the best, the M1 is always great here in Catalunya. It is just Friday but I am very happy to be in front but we have a lot of work to do. We have to decide which tyre to use and we have some corners and sections where we have to improve for tomorrow. Anyway, it is a great to be in the first position.”
Results from Friday's practice session:
1. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 1'42.297
2, Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1'42.346
3. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) 1'42.557
4. Alvaro Bautista (Gresini Honda) 1'42.752
5. Cal Crutchlow (Tech 3 Yamaha) 1'42.776
6. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) 1'42.857
All of us at Designer Helmets will be hoping that Rossi will be on top of the podium on Sunday. Go Vale!